Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shrimp Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Kai)

I swear, one of my readers here is psychic.

I received an email from her yesterday, asking if I knew a recipe for Shrimp Paste Chicken ... just as I was finishing up this post! So, before I go on, I just wanna give a big holler to G from Down Under, "G'DAY MATE!"

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you like this :D

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Fried chicken ranks high on my children's list but I don't indulge them too often. Today though, I gave them their greasy fix because it's been a couple of weeks since they had this. I had already marinated a bag of wings and stashed them in the fridge for a couple of days, so that the flavours would have been thoroughly infused. There are a few fried chicken recipes that I make often, which my children all enjoy, but on the menu today was Shrimp Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Kai).

I used 10 chicken wings, cut at joint. I always eyeball where seasoning is concerned. You just have to look, feel and judge. A couple cubes of nam yee (red fermented bean curd which gives the chicken its rich reddish colour - "Fu Chung" is a popular brand found at supermarkets and Asian stores), a small chunk of belacan (lightly toasted), dashes of fish sauce, sesame oil, brandy (which you can substitute with rice wine) and some pepper. Mix all up into a paste and coat the wings evenly. If the marinade is too dry, use some of the nam yee liquid from the jar. There is no need for salt because nam yee and belacan are both very salty.

I marinate at least 24hrs in the fridge. When ready for frying, remember to take the chill off the meat first. Get rid of excess liquid, then dredge in rice flour before sliding the wings into a very hot pan of oil. I like rice flour among all the flours because it gives the crispiest effect. Fry till crispy or when the chicken takes on a deep golden hue (see picture).


  1. Thank you thank you thank you!! As usual, it looks so delish...Looking at it, I can almost feel that slight crunch and taste the salty oozings that come with that first bite. I shall endeavour to replicate your fab recipe. Thanks much for the pic of nam yee too. I'll keep a lookout.

    -The G from Down Under-

  2. You are most welcomed! :) And thank YOU for your kind words!

  3. A million months later, and I finally made this! It was yummyfying to the max. Like the real stuff! Thanks!!


  4. Fabulous! :D Glad it turned out well. Hope you're doing good :)

  5. wait, isnt this supposed to be a cantonese dish? sorry im a Singapore cantonese btw..=)

  6. I usually rely on the ready made paste and never knew the ingredients. Will this guilty pleasure soon! PS is the prawn taste heavy (i kinda like it that way, ha!) Sabby